New Living Wall is first of its kind in UK
Thursday February 11th, 2021
Biotecture worked with Balfour Beatty Living Places and Southampton City Council to create a magnificent and welcoming feature on the Millbrook roundabout, a key gateway to the city.
The UK’s first highway living walls are also helping to mitigate air quality in Southampton. The ten freestanding living wall structures are situated below the Millbrook Flyover, one of the city’s busiest road areas. The Living Walls were positioned in this location to help mitigate pollution from the 36,000 vehicles that use the roundabout each day.
The Living Wall installation is being funded from efficiency savings made as part of the main £8.3m Millbrook Roundabout reconstruction scheme which were completed in 2019.
There are 17 different species of plants in the living wall including Euonymus, Convolvulus cneorum and Acorus gramineus which were selected because of their ability to capture particulate matter in line with the client’s air quality strategy. When considering planting design Biotecture proposed a design based on the shape of the river Itchen. This well known water way flows from central Hampshire to join the sea at Southampton and is a designated site of special scientific interest because of the protected species that call it home. Water and the sea is an important part of the cities identity so it was fitting to use this iconography.
Cllr Jacqui Rayment, Cabinet Member for Transport and Place, commented: “We have committed to making Southampton a clean, green, sustainable and successful city through our Green City Charter. The Living Wall project at Millbrook Roundabout is the first of its kind in the UK. It’s an exciting way to make our public spaces more attractive whilst at the same time having a beneficial effect on the environment. Investing in greening projects like this will play an important part in safeguarding our local environment for future generations.”